Quality Over Quantity: What It Means and How to Live By It

You may have heard the phrase quality over quantity before, but what does it mean? I guess it’s somewhat self-explanatory as the phrase implies a preference for better things as opposed to more things. However, it encompasses so much more! It’s a way of life that is congruent with the philosophy that quantity doesn’t make you happy. Having more doesn’t bring more joy. Whether it’s friends, clothes, or gadgets, it doesn’t matter. Satisfaction doesn’t come from quantity. Once you understand that, you start focusing on quality instead. Quality over quantity is freedom from our culture of consumerism and learning the importance of gratitude. This simplicity contributes to a fulfilling life in ways quantity could never achieve.

Why Choose Quality Over Quantity

The reason for choosing quality over quantity can be summarized in one word: simplicity. It’s a mindset that creates a more meaningful, efficient, and intentional life.

A More Meaningful Life

Once you start being grateful for what you have, life takes on a whole new meaning. Not chasing for the next best thing brings a deep feeling of contentment that will give your life more purpose.

Choosing quality over quantity in all areas of your life opens you up to experiencing deeper connections and more satisfaction. Quality has more depth than quantity.

A More Efficient Life

The simplicity of a life that focuses on quality over quantity will improve your efficiency. Choosing your outfit is a lot easier when you have less clothing in your closet. Limiting your weekly meal plan to a few simple dishes makes shopping and meal prep faster and more economical. Decision fatigue is real!

Quality over quantity allows you to use your resources more efficiently. You will be able to save time, money, as well as your physical and mental energy. Saving these resources enables you to free them for other more meaningful things that really matter to you.

A More Intentional Life

Deciding to focus on quality over quantity requires you to abandon your natural inclination. You are no longer looking for the next best thing and seeking distraction. Instead, you are reevaluating your priorities and focusing on what matters long term. It’s an exercise in consciousness that will reflect in other aspects of your life. Once you start thinking about why you want what you want in a few areas where you are looking to simplify, you bring these intentions to your life as a whole.

How to Choose Quality Over Quantity

Now that you understand what quality over quantity is and how it can improve your life, you may need some help to live by it. Well, I have good news: in the spirit of quality over quantity, it’s quite simple! It would be kind of ironic if you needed a 10 Step Guide on How to Learn Quality Over Quantity, wouldn’t it? All you need is to do is to practice gratitude and declutter your life.

Practice Gratitude

The philosophy of quality over quantity starts with gratitude. Once you appreciate what you already have, you need much less. The constant desire for more stems from a lack of thankfulness in general. Learn to appreciate the blessings you enjoy in life.

Declutter Your Life

Desiring less will create less clutter in itself. However, you may also want to declutter your past. I will give you more specific tips below as we look at some quality over quantity examples but, for now, keep in mind the following questions:

  • Will it last? Before you buy something and as you go through what you already own, ask yourself if it will serve its purpose for a long time. Is it something that can be used frequently and for a long while?
  • Is it essential? Many gadgets are just that: gadgets! For example, you can trade in all the fancy slicers and choppers for a knife. You can eliminate the need for many cute little electronics if you just use an app on your phone, etc.
  • Does it fulfill the purpose it was meant for? Think about why you want something and what it will accomplish. Does the thing actually help you reach the goal you wanted to achieve? Say you are trying to save time in the kitchen. You are thinking about appliances that may help you. Before you buy one, make sure it’s actually going to make a difference and help you save time. If you don’t bake much, a stand-up mixer will not free much of your time compared to a handheld one. Or if you just look at your mixer while it’s mixing, it won’t help you save time either.

Quality Over Quantity Examples

To end this post about the meaning of quantity over quality, I thought it would be helpful to share some real-life examples to examine these principles. Of course, my examples are not exhaustive, you could extend the quality over quantity principles to everything, including home decor and extracurricular or social activities.

Quality Over Quantity in Business

When it comes to businesses, the concept of quality over quantity can be looked at from two perspectives: the customer and the business owner.

Quality Products

If you are a customer, quality is important and businesses should not value quantity over quality. Businesses that sell junk end up losing customers. That being said, there is space for good ol’ common sense. Depending on your expertise, perfectionism is usually not the best option. As a blogger, I always strive to produce content that goes beyond and above other posts that I see online, but that doesn’t mean I spend the whole day making my posts “perfect.”

The bottom line is: most customers prefer a business that offers quality products over a wide range of products.

Quality Customers

You may have heard about the concept of “one thousand true fans.” Businesses don’t need thousands and thousands of customers to be successful if they have true fans. Fans will purchase everything you create and tell everyone about you. Consequently, most businesses would prefer fewer devoted fans than more dissatisfied customers. Obviously, producing quality as a business owner is how you create true fans.

Another important element of quality over quantity in business relates to goal setting. As a business owner, are you neglecting more important aspects of your life in order to make more money? Something to consider…

Quality Over Quantity in Life

Quality over quantity is a principle that impacts all aspect of your life. Some examples are your relationships, clothing, books, food, and exercise.


If you are an extrovert, you may find it hard to grasp the importance of fewer high quality relationships over many superficial ones. There is nothing wrong with enjoying small talk and thriving with a multitude of less profound relationships, but it’s a good idea to not neglect a fewer more meaningful ones in the process.


In the spirit of quality over quantity, we hear a lot about “capsule wardrobes” these days. A capsule wardrobe usually includes a set number of tops, bottoms and accessories that can be mixed and matched effortlessly. There are many good articles on the Internet to get you started. You can also check out Pinterest for some outfit/wardrobes inspiration.


Many people take great joy in collecting books. If you have enough space and find that looking at your filled bookshelves brings you joy, go right ahead! However, if you need to pair down your collection ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Will I ever read or reread this book? If the answer is NO, maybe it’s time to give it away.
  2. Is it likely that someone in my surroundings might benefit from this book in the future? If you think someone in your household or some of your friends will want to read the book, you can keep it to pass it along indefinitely. Just make sure you put it to good use!


Don’t worry, choosing quality over quantity in food doesn’t mean you don’t get to eat ice cream! I read an otherwise helpful article on medium.com that encouraged readers to choose a banana over ice cream! It made me laugh! I guess the idea was that as you practice making more healthful choices and choosing quality foods, the decision would come easier. That’s true! However, choosing quality over quantity when it comes to food doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite treats and desserts. Instead, it means choosing a few nutrient-dense foods that you enjoy and planning most of your meals around them.


High-quality workouts will yield more results than longer, less intense workouts. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an excellent example of using your time efficiently during your workouts. HIIT workouts include short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This combination is quite effective to make the most of your workouts. During your high intensity periods, your heart rate should reach at least 80 percent of its maximum capacity. The short bursts usually range between 30 seconds and 5 minutes (depending on the level of intensity) while your rest periods will be about half that amount of time. Those workouts will enable you to experience similar benefits much faster. Studies show that a 10 minute HIIT workout is equivalent to 50 minutes of continuous activity.

In Summary

The principles of quality over quantity will enrich all facets of your life by helping you foster a more grateful heart and by simplifying your day-to-day activities. You don’t have to change everything at once. Getting started is fairly straightforward: appreciate what you already have and declutter what you don’t need. You will be well on your way to get off the hamster wheel that causes you to always want more.